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We write a lot about how
much cats dislike car rides but that’s not always true.
Some cats love traveling in cars and prefer a seat with a view rather than lying in a covered carrier.
Traditional hard or soft carriers are everywhere but finding the best cat car seat is a little trickier as there’s a smaller range of products and many are designed and built more for dogs than felines.
But we’ve been doing some research and found some great items.
If you’re in a hurry, then here are our two favorites. Keep reading if you’d like to see a more detailed list and a short guide of what to look for in each product.
We may make a small commission from any qualifying purchases you make but we only recommend products we believe will be a good fit for you and your pet 🙂
How to Choose the Best Cat Car Seat
- Some seats are boosters which can help with motion sickness but some cats may not enjoy being higher up. Does the seat include a safety harness or leash? If not, you’ll have to buy your own – we’ll include a link at the bottom of the post.
- Look at how easily the seat can be fitted to or removed from the seat.
- Will a cat seat be suited to the temperament of your pet? We’d always recommend a plastic carrier for cats who use teeth and claws when anxious or frightened.
- Read the reviews before purchasing but narrow your search down by using the search function for “cats”. Many of these products are used by dog
owners, too, and some of their comments and experiences may not be relevant for your buying decision.
- What materials were used to make the product and are they durable enough to last a long time? Do you need something waterproof? What does the manufacturer say about the zippers?
- Check the cleaning instructions.
- Think about where you’re going to store it when it’s not in use.
- Measure your cat and then check this against the seat’s dimensions to make sure it fits.
5 Best Car Seats for Cats
We’ve picked out a selection of cat car seats that will think are suitable for your pet.
We’ve considered durability, price and taken into account the reviews – ensuring that these are suitable for felines as well as dogs or other small pets.
We’ve included a link to a cat harness because you may need to secure your pet to the seat and also a link to a pet tunnel that can be stretched across the back seat and maybe a more suitable solution to some owners.
We like this one because it helps reduce car sickness in pets. It’s a great way for you to be able to keep an eye on what your pet is doing, too, without being distracted.
- Can help reduce motion sickness
- Pet gets a good view out of the window
- Can be installed securely and quickly.
- It includes a seat belt that can be attached to a harness
- Has metal supports to maintain structural integrity
- Waterproof material
- Has storage pockets for any paperwork or accessories
- Comes with a lifetime guarantee against product defects
- It has a machine-washable liner
- Product Dimensions: 13 x 16 x 9 inches and it weighs 3.13 pounds
Cons: Double-check the sizing rather than going on the maximum weight as some owners suggest it wasn’t always easy for the pet to get comfortable. Bigger cats might be within the weight guidelines but might require a larger booster.
Different cars have different size seats so check the straps will fit before purchasing. Some customers have found the straps are too long and others too short.
We think this one looks so comfortable. It has more padding than the product listed above and should encourage your cat to curl up and sleep.
- It gives your pet a good view out of the window
- the inside is quilted fleece
- Can fit in the front or back of a vehicle
- The seat belt is hidden under the seat
- Has a firm foam bolster around the edge
- Comes with two security leashes
- Available in 2 colors
- Product dimensions: 21.2 x 19.2 x 16.4 inches and weighs 3.14 pounds
If you like the look of this one but aren’t sure then AmazonBasics has a very similar seat with many of the same features but which is slightly smaller at 18.5 x 17.7 x 15.7 inches and weighing around 2.6 pounds.
- Made from waterproof material
- ventilation on both sides
- Won’t collapse on your pet during thanks to a metal support rod
- Has two safety belts to stop the seat sliding when the car is moving
- Fits most cars, trucks and SUVs
- Easy to assemble and folds down for easy storage
- A cheaper option than others but is a bestseller
- Comes in different colours
- Product Dimensions: 17 x 13.7 x 9.85 inches
Cons: may not be suitable for very large cats – check the dimensions before ordering.
This is a handy carrier as well as being something for the car so it’s ideal if you’re looking for something more than just a seat for your vehicle. The roof can be enclosed so you don’t have to rely on a safety harness. It makes taking your pet from the house, into the car and onto the road much easier.
- Push buttons instead of zippers for easy access to your cat
- You can open the roof of the carrier all the way, part of the way or have it closed completely.
- It has a padded carry handle
- Easily attaches to the seat belt in your vehicle
- The mesh gives your cat a good view of the outside as well as providing ample ventilation.
- Collapses down when not in use
- The interior pad is washable
- Tether included
- Lightweight build
- Product Dimensions are 20 x 12 x 18.5 inches and it weighs 6.5 pounds
Other customers have commented that they’ve purchased a snap and go stroller frame and turned this into a pet stroller.
Cons: It’s a lot of mesh if you’re worried about your cat clawing out of the carrier.
Do You Need a Cat Harness?
You may need a cat harness or leash to secure your cat to the car seat. We’ve found this one which is a best seller and has a lot of positive reviews.
If you don’t think either a cat carrier or car seat is suitable for your pet, then it’s worth taking a look at this travel tunnel which can be stretched across the backseat. The pet is entirely contained in it but has the freedom to move and stretch.
We wouldn’t recommend it for cats who are stressed or aggressive during car rides, but if you’ve got a feline that’s fine with hitting the road then it’s one more option for you choose.
Here are all the links for car seats that we listed in this post 🙂
How Long Can a Cat Ride in a Car?
It’ll depend on the cat so keep an eye on them throughout the journey and if it looks like they need to use a litter tray or stretch their legs, find a safe place to pull over, lock the doors and let them move around. Some cats can sit quite happily in a car for eight hours and many will curl up asleep, but it does depend on how the pet feels about being in a car or a carrier. Most cats will be fine for up to 8-hours unless they display behavior to the contrary, but ideally, you should schedule in some stops to check on them.
Where do you put a cat carrier in a car?
The best place is on the back seat of the car. It’s considered to be safer in the event of an accident and will stop them from being impacted by the passenger side airbag. It’s also less likely to distract the driver.
How can I make my cat more comfortable in the car?
The carrier is often the key. Put the time in before you need to take a trip to get them used to it: make sure the carrier or car seat smells like them. You can do this by keeping it in the house where they can easily explore and get used to it. Double-check the car seat or carrier is secure before you travel and drive carefully as cats may be more sensitive to vibrations. Adding blankets or familiar toys can create a calmer environment as can playing music. Some owners will cover a carrier with a towel to reduce the chance of motion sickness and to keep a pet calm.
Are long car rides bad for cats?
If they’re done properly with the cats best interests at heart, then a long car ride is completely fine. Make sure the vehicle is at a comfortable temperature throughout the journey. Plan an overnight stay at a cat-friendly motel if you’re driving a very long distance. Give the cat the chance to use a litter tray or to take a small amount of food or water if you’re going to be driving many hours. Pay attention to any panting as its often a sign of anxiety but could also be a heat-related issue or a medical condition. Long car rides are often better than taking a plane trip with your cat as you have more opportunity to tailor your journey to what is best for your pet.
Cat car seats can be a great option for cats who enjoy car rides or who aren’t great at traveling in carriers. Always remember to check the sizing against the seats of your car and the measurements of your pet. You might also need to think about what you’re using the seat for: is it a booster seat to reduce motion sickness or is it more for their comfort or do you want a carrier included as well.